Monday, January 14, 2013

Alice's Review: I am Lucky Bird

Summary: Fleur Philips' I AM LUCKY BIRD is an intensely gripping, deeply emotional literary novel, telling the heart-wrenching narrative of its young protagonist, Lucky Bird, after her mother AnnMarie mysteriously vanishes, and her childhood comes to an abrupt end. Left alone to defend herself against her suddenly abusive grandmother, Marian Bird, and forced to endure the twisted predatory game played out by Marian's lover Tom Cressfield, Lucky's life soon descends into a nightmare. Even when she manages to escape, the outside world can't take away the brutal images of her past. Still haunted by her mother's disappearance and the trauma that followed, Lucky is easily led down a path of self-destruction, a path that only the intervention of a handsome young stranger and his family seems to offer any hope of guiding her away from. But first, she will have to confront her demons, and the dark truths that they kept hidden... I Am Lucky Bird has made it onto the 2011 list of finalists for ForeWord Reviews' Book Of The Year Awards- surely only the first of many awards to come! ~ amazon.com

Review: Although this novel is very short, it packs quite a powerful punch. I am Lucky Bird is not your typical coming of age story about a young girl in rural Montana in the early 90s. Lucky Bird is not your typical girl. At 11 years old, Lucky lives in a small home with Marian, a nurse at the local hospital who found a newborn Lucky abandoned behind her favorite tavern, and AnnMarie, Marian’s quiet introspective daughter and Lucky’s closest companion. The novel follows the next 6 years of Lucky’s life. A life that is plagued with tragedy and horrifying revelations.

My one concern with I am Lucky Bird is that as tragic and heartbreaking as is it, the author was able to wrap it up in a pretty little package complete with a bow and confetti. It was hard to imagine things ending so perfectly for Lucky. It was too perfect and as annoyed as I was, I did cry at the end. Those tears were pure joy for her because she deserved it.

It’s very easy to overlook that minor infraction because the rest of the novel is brilliant. Ms. Philips skillfully creates the characters of Marian, AnnMarie and Lucky. Of the three, the one I was drawn to the most was AnnMarie. She is the one character we got to know through others only and she was the one I was most curious about. I wondered what she was feeling, what was going on behind the silence and wall of books she surrounded herself with. That’s probably what endeared me to her. It’s easy to relate to someone who lives her life in books and avoids the outside world.

Although I am Lucky Bird is incredibly dark and heart wrenching, I highly recommend it. It reads like a memoir. It reminds me of a Lifetime movie, but in a good way. Ms. Philips definitely made a fan out of me and I look forward to what she will do next.

Final Take: 4/5

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